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Do You Own Canada’s Best Gold Stocks?

One of the first places investors turn when the market is looking uncertain is gold, and with prices of the yellow stuff set to rise in 2019, it seems as good a time to check out what’s on offer as any. Let’s see how some of the best Canadian metals and mining stocks are doing on their market fundamentals right now, as well as in a few other areas of pertinent data, such as outlook and balance sheets.

Wesdome Gold Mines (TSX:WDO)

One of the top TSX index gold miners for the high-growth buyers, Wesdome Gold Mines saw year-on-year returns of 157.7%, meaning that it’s celebration time for anyone stacking shares for this period. Even better than that, however, have been Wesdome Gold Mines’ half-decadal returns of 450% rewarding five-year shareholders with some of the highest gains to be found in the mining industry.

A clean balance sheet is indicated by a low debt level of 6.2% of net worth, and while valuation may be high with a P/E of 40.8 times earnings and P/B of 3.9 times book, growth investors with their eyes on the prize should have something to get excited about in a 44.8% expected annual growth in earnings over the next one to three years.

Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX)(NYSE:GOLD)

Selling at twice the book price, Barrick Gold offers a 1.22% dividend yield, rare among miners. A 69.7% expected annual growth in earnings is one of the main reasons to get invested, and with more shares have been picked up than let go by Barrick Gold’s inner circle over the last three months, would-be buyers would find themselves in good company.

One of the most popular gold stocks currently trading on the TSX index, Barrick Gold is increasingly good quality: With a five-year average past earnings growth of 56.6% under its belt, Barrick Gold’s level of debt has decreased over the last five years from 81.7% to 61.1%, making for an ever more appetizing play.

Goldcorp (TSX:G)(NYSE:GG)

Offering a rare dividend yield of 0.74%, Goldcorp is a remarkable gold mining stock if you look at its data. With a high annual increase in earnings of 118% expected over the next few years, it’s definitely one of the top mining stocks for a growth investor. With shares changing hands at book price, and on the up pretty steadily since just after Halloween, there’s the potential for the value-focused investor to reap some upside here.

While Goldcorp’s 90-day returns of 18.7% may not be particularly high, they outperform the TSX index as well as the Canadian metals and mining industry, which itself returned 11.8% for the same period. Despite a tough 2018 across the board, Goldcorp’s five-year average past earnings growth is positive 23.8%, although a significant amount of Goldcorp shares have been shed by insiders over the last three months.

The bottom line

With a fair-to-middling balance sheet indicated by a debt level of 31.4% of net worth, Goldcorp is a solid buy for mid- to long-term investors at the moment, specifically those with a focus on high returns. Its two competitors here likewise offer high growth along with some good quality statistics and the type of sturdy balance sheets that should satisfy the low-risk investor.

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Fool contributor Victoria Hetherington has no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

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